In MMA bouts, compression locks are seldom used to end fights. They’re used much more often in submission-grappling competitions to elicit a tapout. Their use is often limited to the advanced divisions in submission-grappling events because of the above-mentioned dangers, which are more likely to afflict the inexperienced.
One reason compression locks are used infrequently in MMA is they’re specialized and unorthodox. Most mixed martial artists would be better off relying on high-percentage submissions like the rear-naked choke and armbar. In grappling, however, competitors tend to have more submission tools in their toolbox. That fact, coupled with the absence of strikes, means you have a much greater chance of seeing a compression lock in action.
Incorporating the three locks described here into your grappling arsenal will increase your submission-hunting ability. They can be employed from a variety of positions on the mat, making them a real threat that’s often totally unexpected. As you practice them, remember the cautionary words of Dr. Joseph Estwanik. No one wants to inflict a serious injury on a training partner.
Finally, even if you never use a compression lock, the knowledge you’ve gained from this article will help you avoid being submitted by one of them. As in all martial arts, knowing the nature of the threat you face is essential to being victorious.